GOP: Majority Leader Hagenow’s Opening Remarks for the 2018 Legislative Session

January 8, 2018
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Thank you Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, ladies and gentlemen of the House. It is my great honor to welcome you back to the Statehouse as we continue the historic work of the 87th General Assembly.

With the first day of each session comes excitement and anticipation.  But, this year, it also comes with reflection as we remember two of our members whom we will greatly miss – Representative Greg Forristall and Representative Curt Hanson.  Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with their families and may we never forget their honorable service to our great state.

All of us here today, whether Republican or Democrat, return to do the people’s work and it is the service of Iowans that we must always keep in mind.  This great institution is stronger and our government works better, when we are willing to talk to each other, listen to each other’s ideas and not merely dismiss them based on which letter follows their name on a ballot.  I’m grateful for the many relationships I have developed on both sides of the aisle and working together on our shared interests.

It is a tremendous honor to lead this group of House Republicans.  While pundits and prognosticators concern themselves with which direction the political winds may be blowing, those voices will do nothing to change our resolve.  You are determined, committed, and principled leaders.  There are voices out there that wish to stifle our every effort and take us back to the old ways of doing things – instead, you continue to work hard, find creative policy solutions, and be unafraid to challenge the status quo.

Last year, we made extraordinary accomplishments due to the opportunity entrusted to us by Iowans. House Republicans remain committed to charting a brighter course for the state of Iowa by focusing on innovative policy solutions that look ahead to the next generation.

We must continue to boldly lead and always challenge yesterday’s voices who seek to turn the calendar back. We will lead by looking ahead and always asking, “What’s next?”

Every year, House Republicans are dedicated to responsible stewardship of the hard-earned resources of Iowa taxpayers.  We are again committed to sound budget practices that demonstrate fiscal restraint, safeguard the priority needs of Iowans, and protect Iowa taxpayers.

Along with our commitment to strong budget leadership, we look forward to a broad conversation about reforming Iowa’s tax code to make the system fairer, simpler, and more competitive.  House Republicans would rather grow our economy than grow our government.  Putting more dollars back into the pockets of Iowans will unleash our economy, expand our businesses, and empower our families.

As I have traveled the state meeting business and community leaders I often hear about challenges they face in recruiting and hiring skilled employees. House Republicans are excited to work on ideas to further develop Iowa’s workforce. Not only can this help Iowa businesses grow, but these efforts will help individual Iowans find new and better careers. The needs of Iowa’s economy are ever-changing, and we must continue to help prepare all Iowans for greater prosperity in a twenty-first century economy.

Each of us makes a sacrifice to be here; but, it is important to reflect on the sacrifices each of our families make, and often, their sacrifice is far greater than ours.  Without their patience and support nothing I’ve accomplished here would have been possible.

To close, my prayer today is that God will continue to bless each one of us, the people we represent, and the great State of Iowa.

Thank you Madam Speaker.

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